Month: October 2020

Hoax triggers face mask shortage in Indonesia, says Health Ministry

first_imgWiendra said the new virus had not reached Indonesia. However, the ministry recommends those with severe coughs to wear face masks, while those who are healthy should avoid being near sick people.  “There has been a misconception [in public] that wearing a mask is a basic need. In fact, the basic needs are consuming nutritious food in a balanced diet, getting enough rest and, if you are feeling not well, immediately check yourself into a health facility,” he added.According to Wiendra, it was urgent for Indonesia to be better at handling the spread of tuberculosis, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other deadly infectious diseases.  In addition to that, Wiendra said that masks can be used by those who want to avoid polluted air. However, those who are healthy do not need surgical masks. The Health Ministry says a shortage of face masks in most cities in Indonesia was triggered by a hoax, instead of concerns over the coronavirus spread.The ministry was convinced that the hoax made people panic, causing the uncontrolled buying of face masks. Some even turned to hoarding.  “It is because there are more hoax ‘viruses’ [instead of actual viruses],” said Wiendra Waworuntu, the ministry’s communicable disease prevention and control director, in Jakarta on Tuesday, as quoted by Antara. Sales of surgical masks have surged in the country since the news broke of the coronavirus, which was first found in Wuhan, Hubei province, China.  According to sellers in Pramuka Market in Jakarta, the sales of protective face masks had tripled. Meanwhile, the KN95 respirator face masks have become scarce in the market.The coronavirus plague in China has spread to 27 countries. The outbreak has killed 427 people worldwide as of Tuesday, Reuters reported.The World Health Organization has declared the flu-like virus a global emergency and experts say much is still unknown about the pathogen, including its mortality rate and transmission routes. (gis)Topics :last_img read more

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Perppu on COVID-19 aid puts graft fight at stake

first_imgAs the House of Representatives prepares to pass an executive order that will expand the government’s authority to allocate emergency coronavirus spending, legal experts warn that the new regulation would be a blow to the country’s fight against corruption.The regulation in lieu of law, Perppu No. 1/2020, is expected to be passed this week after the House’s budget committee grants approval amid mounting public pressure to drop it entirely.Read also: Lawmakers agree to endorse Perppu on COVID-19 in next plenary sessionThe Perppu will allow the government to extend the state budget deficit beyond the legal cap of 3 percent of gross domestic product and allocate the spending to programs related to COVID-19, while officials are protected from any legal charges as long as they act “in good will and according to the law”.Gadjah Mada University Center for Anticorruption Studies (Pukat UGM) director Zainal Arifin Mochtar said emergency situations like the pandemic often required expansion of the President’s authority to take over lengthy bureaucratic processes.  But where the Perppu could become a big problem for the country, he said, was Article 27 of the regulation, which stipulates that any programs related to coronavirus aid are considered to be “economic costs to save the economy from crisis” instead of state losses. The article also shields government officials from any legal charges behind the argument that they have acted in good will.“[The article] contradicts the definition of state losses in the 2004 State Treasury Law. The Perppu also does not define what constitutes ‘good will’,” he told The Jakarta Post.He further cited as an example that the term “good will” was also used in Article 45 of the 2009 Bank Indonesia (BI) Law, which stipulates that the central bank’s governor and other bank officials are protected as long as they act in good will. But there are conditions that apply to define what acts or policies are carried out in good will.  It was because of these limitations, he said, that former BI deputy governor Budi Mulya was sentenced to 10 years in the Bank Century bailout scandal.   The government is seeking to disburse Rp 405.1 trillion (US$24.6 billion) for COVID-19 relief measures, most of which would be granted for economic recovery instead of healthcare spending. If the Perppu can be passed before mid-year, the government can allocate a larger fund for coronavirus aid in this year’s state budget through a presidential decree, instead of House approval.While the emergency measures are needed, the public has condemned the absence of government oversight in the regulation. The Constitutional Court is currently reviewing the controversial articles in the Perppu under a petition filed by a group of anticorruption activists. Read also: Angered by Perppu on pandemic response, civil groups turn to Constitutional CourtViolla Reininda, a constitutional law expert of judicial and constitution watchdog Kode Inisiatif, said the impunity given to state officials would protect them from any graft charges stipulated in the 2001 Corruption Law, as well as overriding judicial authorities as stipulated in the Constitution.   “Yes, we are currently in a state of emergency, but should the government undermine the Constitution in times of crisis? I don’t think so. Because Article 1 of the 1945 Constitution states that Indonesia is a nation governed by law,” she said.Another legal expert, Refly Harun, said the impunity article gave the opportunity to “free riders” who wanted to take advantage of the emergency situation to rob the state coffers.“Imagine that lawyers [of graft suspects] would say the court could not sue defendants since all spending ruled under the Perppu would not be considered state losses,” he said.The experts have reasons to doubt the government officials since early disbursement of coronavirus aid in the capital and several provinces has been used by regional heads as an opportunity to increase their popularity among voters. Several incumbents are seeking reelection in a round of regional elections that will be held in December.    Bivitri Susanti of the Jentera School of Law said the House could only accept or reject the Perppu entirely since the legal mechanism did not allow revision of the current Perppu document.  “If the House factions agree, it is likely the Perppu will pass. But it can still be revised through a judicial review at the Constitutional Court or if the House proposes an amendment after the Perppu is passed,” she said.Bivitri suggested that the public file a new judicial review petition should the Perppu be passed into law.Constitutional Court spokesperson Fajar Laksono said the court could revoke the Perppu if justices can issue their rulings in favor of the plaintiffs before the House passes the Perppu. But if it passes, the public can still challenge the law.“The public can still challenge the Perppu [after House deliberation] by registering new lawsuits,” Fajar said.Boyamin Saiman, one of the plaintiffs challenging the Perppu, said he was “more than ready” to file another suit with the court if the House finally passes the regulation into law.“We will be happy [if the Perppu becomes law] because we will not only be fighting against the government, but also the House,” Boyamin said. “The ongoing legislation process of the Perppu has also provided us more time to gather evidence and documents to be presented at hearings,” he added.Topics :last_img read more

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COVID-19 patients in East Java hospital demand to be let out for Idul Fitri

first_imgCOVID-19 patients at the Slamet Martodirjo regional hospital in Pamekasan, East Java, have demanded to be allowed to celebrate Idul Fitri at home with their families, with some resorting to extreme measures.“Some families threatened us, but we remain firm in prohibiting COVID-19 patients from going home,” the hospital’s COVID-19 task force head Syaiful Hidayat said on Sunday, as quoted by kompas.com.He added that some patients had even threatened to commit suicide if they were left in isolation during the holiday. “We stood firm and did our jobs according to the protocols,” he said.Syaiful said that, though the medical workers had become targets of anger and intimidation, they did not acquiesce to the patient’s demands, because the potential transmission of COVID-19 posed an even bigger threat.“We rejected their requests simply because the confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients might transmit the disease to many people,” Syaiful said. “I urge the public to follow health protocols in order to avoid contracting COVID-19.”This year’s Idul Fitri celebrations were much more understated than usual as many traditions and customs have been scrapped due to the COVID-19 outbreak.In his Idul Fitri greeting, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo called on the public to prioritize their health and that of their families during the festive period.“We celebrate differently, because [now] we all need to make sacrifices to not [travel] and gather [with our families] as usual,” he said.Topics :last_img read more

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Four cops charged in Floyd death, one with 2nd-degree murder

first_imgIn a statement, Floyd’s family described news of the new charges as a “bittersweet moment.””This is a significant step forward on the road to justice, and we are gratified that this important action came before George Floyd’s body was laid to rest,” the statement said.The statement, issued by family attorney Ben Crump, also said that Ellison would consider elevating the charge to premeditated murder “if the evidence supports it.”The family urged protesters to “raise their voices for change in peaceful ways.”Tens of thousands of demonstrators defied night-time curfews Tuesday in several US cities.But the demonstrations were largely peaceful, and while there were tense standoffs with law enforcement, the protests did not feature the looting or clashes with police of previous days. “This is another important step for justice.”Chauvin was charged last week with third-degree murder, which is roughly akin to manslaughter. A charge of second-degree murder does not suggest premeditation but carries stiffer penalties.Court documents show the second-degree murder charge was added to the prior charges.The three other officers have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, documents show. Topics :center_img The white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on the neck of a black man who later died will now be charged with second-degree murder, and his three colleagues will also face charges, court documents revealed Wednesday.The May 25 death of George Floyd — who had been accused of trying to buy cigarettes with a counterfeit bill — has ignited protests across the United States over systemic racism and police brutality.”Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is increasing charges against Derek Chauvin to 2nd degree in George Floyd’s murder and also charging other 3 officers,” US Senator Amy Klobuchar tweeted.last_img read more

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Dutch drink offenders to get teetotal tag to keep them dry

first_img“Clients are continuously aware of the fact that they have something that is measuring their alcohol consumption. That helps them to keep away from alcohol abuse,” probation officer Tony Rubino told Reuters.The bracelet can also help offenders to show they have changed their ways.A mother of two boys, who took part in the government’s pilot studies for the bracelet, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “I have two young boys and had to show that I don’t drink anymore.””The alcohol anklet was an excellent opportunity for me to show that I do not drink 24/7.” Topics : People in the Netherlands convicted of crimes related to alcohol abuse will have to wear a special ankle bracelet to monitor their drinking habits once the government has passed the necessary legislation.The Dutch justice ministry has said the electronic bracelet or tag will keep track of any sign of alcohol consumption by analyzing the sweat of the person wearing it.Data from the bracelet will be sent to a central server once a day, giving probation officers a clearer picture of the wearer’s behavior than the current system which relies on blood or urine tests which are done twice a week.center_img The justice ministry said its pilot studies showed that 71% of the participants did not drink alcohol during the test, even though some were allowed access to alcohol.Around half of the participants said they did not drink for at least three months after the anklet was taken off.Studies, cited by the justice ministry, have shown that 26% to 43% of all violent incidents in the Netherlands are related to alcohol, while the cost of alcohol abuse to Dutch society is estimated to run to 6 billion euros ($6.75 billion) a year.last_img read more

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Four arrested in Indonesia tiger poaching case

first_imgIn January, Aceh police arrested a man trying to sell a tiger skin for some 90 million rupiah ($6,400), and dozens of wildlife crime cases have been recorded in recent years, according to the region’s conservation officials.Poaching accounts for almost 80 percent of Sumatran tiger deaths, according to TRAFFIC, a global wildlife trade monitoring network.Sumatran tigers are considered critically endangered by protection group the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with fewer than 400 believed to remain in the wild. The men — who had been under police surveillance — also had the teeth and bones of a sun bear, authorities added.”The four ensnared this protected animal in a trap and it was left to die,” said Aceh police spokesman Margiyanta, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.We think “the perpetrators are part of a syndicate given the professional way they caught the animals”.The animal parts may have been destined for buyers outside the region, he added. Topics :center_img Four suspected poachers have been arrested for killing a critically endangered Sumatran tiger, Indonesian police said Monday, highlighting the Southeast Asian nation’s battle with illegal wildlife trafficking.Authorities in Aceh, at the northern tip of Sumatra island, said they were also searching for a fifth suspect, all allegedly part of a crime syndicate.At a press briefing Monday, police displayed a confiscated tiger skin along with teeth and bones taken from the suspected traffickers. last_img read more

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Depok Catholic Church molester launched ‘systematic’ assault for years, lawyer says

first_imgSyahril Parlindungan, who allegedly sexual assaulted dozens of altar boys of St. Herkulanus Church in Depok, West Java, “systematically” molested kids for decades and abused his power as the boys’ mentor to silence them, the victims’ lawyer has said.Lawyer Azas Tigor Nainggolan said Syahril had been molesting the altar boys since 2002.”He would slowly seduce several potential victims at the same time by, for example, holding their hands, before eventually assaulting them. None of the victims dared to speak up because the perpetrator had manipulated them using his power as their mentor at the church,” Tigor told The Jakarta Post on Thursday. The lawyer added that Syahril molested his victims not only in the church’s library, but also in his house and car.Read also: Depok case shines light on sexual abuse in Indonesian Catholic ChurchThe police detained Syahril after receiving reports from several parents of his “suspicious behavior” of kissing, hugging and putting the boys on his lap. Some parents also claimed that he verbally bullied the kids.At least 21 boys spoke up during an internal investigation launched by the church administrators and parents to say the 42-year-old man had molested them. Two victims later reported the incidents to the police, who then detained and charged him under the 2014 Child Protection Law, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment.The police investigation further revealed that Syahril had been abusing altar boys aged 11 to 15 since 2002. The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) opened a complaint service to gather information from more alleged victims regarding the sexual assault carried out by Syahril.Topics :last_img read more

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Passengers, crew rescued after cargo ship catches fire in Java Sea

first_imgHe added that the passengers and crew members had been taken to Ketapang in West Kalimantan, where they are expected to arrive on Thursday morning.Read also: Photo: Damaged ships, dismantled, recycledThe Pangkalpinang Port Authority (KSOP) reported that the incident had occurred in the waters near Belitung Island in Bangka Belitung.The ship, which was sailing from Jakarta to Pontianak, West Kalimantan, was also carrying 18 trucks and two minibuses at the time of the incident.A joint search and rescue team found the burning ship at 9 a.m. local time on Wednesday at around 18 nautical miles northwest of its initial location.“We searched the ship entirely and found no casualties,” said Hendra, adding that the joint rescue team was currently investigating the cause of the fire. (trn)Topics : Cargo ship KM Bahari Indonesia caught fire in the Java Sea on Tuesday evening, as reported by the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas).All 26 passengers and crew members were safely evacuated from the ship. No casualties were reported on the incident.“All 26 people aboard were rescued by the KM Samudera Jaya Abadi, which happened to pass by the cargo ship’s location,” Jakarta Basarnas office chief Hendra Sudirman said on Wednesday as quoted by kompas.com.last_img read more

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Indonesian MMA fighter Eko Roni Saputra looks to ONE’s Bangkok bouts for inspirations

first_imgEko is a huge advocate of Muay Thai, and is a teammate of Nong-O on the Evolve Fight Team. As such, Eko will be watching this bout closely to see if any of these athletes could possibly give Nong-O a challenge.“The Sangmanee versus Kulabdam fight is definitely something. I expect a fiery bout from start to finish. Given that these two fighters are very aggressive, I wouldn’t be surprised if the fight ends inside the distance,” said Eko, as quoted from a media statement sent to The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.Another bout that Eko is looking forward to watching is the fight between Thailand’s Mongkolpetch Petchyindee Academy and Cambodia’s Sok Thy.Mongkolpetch is a Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai world champion, while Sok Thy is a Kun Khmer flyweight world champion. The contrast in striking styles is interesting. Mongkolpetch and Sok are among Eko’s favorite’s fighters.“There’s a vast difference between Muay Thai and Kun Khmer in terms of techniques, despite being similar in striking styles, and we can learn a lot from this fight,” said Eko.Another much-anticipated bout is a three-round fight between veteran Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai and France’s Fabio Pinca.  Pinca is a multiple Muay Thai world champion who has spent nearly two decades at the sport’s highest level. He’s a European kickboxing champion, two-division WBC Muay Thai world champion, and even a Rajadamnern Stadium world champion – an incredibly rare feat for a foreigner in Thailand.“I am super excited to see Fabio Pinca mix it up and try MMA for the first time. Obviously, he’s such a high-level striker, but I’m curious to see how he will do on the ground. They say he’s worked very hard on his jiu-jitsu and wrestling over the years. Now he needs to prove it in the ring,” Eko said.Topics : Former Indonesian wrestler Eko Roni Saputra, who is now training at the Evolve MMA gym in Singapore and has become one of ONE Championship’s brightest athletes, has said at this stage he is still looking for inspirational bouts so he can watch and observe and expand his horizons about combat sports.Eko said he was looking forward to the ONE: No Surrender III bouts, which are set to be organized behind closed doors in Bangkok on Aug. 21. He said there were three bouts he hoped to watch.His first pick will be the semifinal showdown between two Muay Thai athletes, Sangmanee Klong Suan PlusResort and Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai. The winner will go on to face Saemapetch Fairtex in the final round for the chance to move on to challenge Nong-O Gaiyanghadao for the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Championship.last_img read more

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Posing as policeman, drug convict allegedly blackmails women in sextortion scam

first_img“After a few days of communicating, the victim was asked to have phone sex through video calls,” Arie told tempo.co on Friday.The victim agreed and IP, who never showed his face, allegedly recorded the video call. He then reportedly blackmailed the victim, threatening to send the footage to her husband if she did not give him money.Read also: Meeting dates on Facebook? Beware of ‘sextortionThe victim gave him Rp 16.8 million (US$1.154) between July 1 and 7, but after she could no longer afford to pay him off, she allegedly told her husband about the extortion and filed a report to the East Jakarta Police. A man identified as 26-year-old IP allegedly posed as a policeman and blackmailed three women, threatening to distribute their sex video that he secretly recorded. East Jakarta Police chief Comr. Arie Ardian said IP was already a drug convict serving his sentence in Bagansiapiapi prison in Rokan Hilir regency, Riau.Arie said IP had initially contacted a married woman through Facebook in June 2019, claiming he was a divorced officer at the Gresik Police in East Java. The two continued to converse through WhatsApp. In total, the police said IP had collected more than Rp 19 million from blackmailing three different women with similar methods. Cooperating with the Baganisapiapi prison, the police then transferred him to Cipinang prison in East Jakarta for questioning regarding the alleged blackmail.“We will then give the dossier to the East Jakarta Prosecutor’s Office,” Aerie said.IP was charged under Article 29 of the 2008 pornography law, which prohibits the distribution of pornography and carries a maximum sentence of 12 years’ imprisonment, and Article 27 of the 2016 Electronic Information and Transactions Law (ITE), which bans the distribution of content deemed immoral and carries a maximum punishment of six years’ imprisonment. (mfp)Topics :last_img read more

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